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WAC 504-26-401

Initiating conduct proceedings.

(1) Complaints. Any member of the university community may submit a complaint that a student or recognized or registered student organization violated the standards of conduct. In addition, the university may initiate conduct proceedings when it receives any direct or indirect report of conduct that may violate the standards of conduct.
(2) Decision not to refer the matter for hearing. After reviewing the initial information, if the conduct officer determines that further conduct proceedings are not warranted, the conduct officer dismisses the matter. If the conduct officer decides not to initiate a conduct proceeding when requested by a complainant, the conduct officer must notify the complainant in writing of the decision, the reasons for the decision, and how to seek review of the decision. Conduct matters may be reopened if new relevant information becomes known.
(3) Notice of informational meeting. After reviewing initial information regarding a possible student conduct violation, if the student conduct officer decides conduct proceedings are warranted, the student conduct officer sends the respondent, or parties as appropriate, written notice of an informational meeting. The notice must, at a minimum, briefly describe the factual allegations or issues involved, the specific standard of conduct provision(s) the respondent is alleged to have violated, the range of possible sanctions for such violations, and the time, date, and place of the meeting. In addition, information regarding the student conduct process and student rights, as required by WAC 504-26-504 (InterpretationPolicies, procedures, and guidelines) must be provided. Any request to change or extend the time or date of the informational meeting should be addressed to the conduct officer.
(4) Purpose of informational meeting. The purpose of the informational meeting is to provide the respondent with information on the conduct process and their rights and responsibilities, and to determine next steps, if any, in resolving the matter. During the informational meeting, the respondent may provide names of witnesses to the conduct officer to potentially contact. In cases involving Title IX, an informational meeting is also offered to a complainant.
(5) Agreement and alternative dispute resolution. A conduct officer may resolve a matter by agreement. Agreements may be reached directly or through alternative dispute resolution. In cases where agreement is not reached directly, before referring the matter to a hearing, the conduct officer must consider, and make a written determination, whether alternative dispute resolution is appropriate to resolve the matter. Alternative dispute resolution must not be used in matters involving sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. When resolution of a matter is reached by agreement or alternative dispute resolution, the agreement must be in writing and signed by the parties and the conduct officer. In the agreement, the parties must be advised in writing that:
(a) The disposition is final and they are waiving any right to a hearing on the matter, including any right to appeal; and
(b) If any party decides not to sign the agreement, and the matter proceeds to a hearing, neither the agreement nor a party's refusal to sign will be used against either party at the hearing.
(6) Referral for adjudication. After the informational meeting, if the conduct officer determines that a conduct hearing is warranted, and the matter is not resolved through agreement or alternative dispute resolution, the matter is handled through either a conduct officer hearing (brief adjudication) in accordance with WAC 504-26-402, or conduct board hearing (full adjudication) in accordance with WAC 504-26-403. In determining which process is appropriate, the conduct officer considers factors including, but not limited to, the nature and severity of the allegations, the respondent's past contacts with the center for community standards, and the range of possible sanctions that could be imposed. A student may request that a conduct board hear the case, but the final decision regarding whether to refer the matter to the conduct board for hearing is made by the conduct officer and is not subject to appeal.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28B.30.150. WSR 18-23-083, § 504-26-401, filed 11/19/18, effective 12/20/18; WSR 17-13-049, § 504-26-401, filed 6/15/17, effective 7/16/17; WSR 15-11-041, § 504-26-401, filed 5/14/15, effective 6/14/15; WSR 15-01-080, § 504-26-401, filed 12/15/14, effective 1/15/15; WSR 11-11-031, § 504-26-401, filed 5/11/11, effective 6/11/11; WSR 08-05-001, § 504-26-401, filed 2/6/08, effective 3/8/08; WSR 06-23-159, § 504-26-401, filed 11/22/06, effective 12/23/06.]
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